Proposed New City Ordinances
Continuing our commitment to updating students on developments related to neighborhood concerns, we write to inform you of actions taken at this week’s meeting of the Lewiston City Council. Two ordinances of note for students, especially those living off-campus, passed their first reading. The “nuisance party” and “unlawful noise” ordinances would apply to all city neighborhoods, and, if they pass a final vote in October, could impact students if disturbances occur.
The passage of first reading for these ordinances means that they will continue to a final vote at the October 3 council meeting. If passed at that meeting, they will go into effect in early November. As with any public forum, all residents, including Bates students, are welcome to participate in the meeting. Several students attended the Sept. 19 meeting and offered commentary on the proposed ordinances from the student perspective.
To ensure understanding of potential changes, we want to share how the ordinance and related violations are being defined and what their passage could mean for our students.
As proposed, a “nuisance party” is defined as “a social gathering or party that is conducted on premises within the city and which, by reason of the conduct of the persons in attendance, results in any one or more of the following conditions (see p. 91-92) or events occurring at the site of the party or social gathering, or on neighboring public or private property.” Violations could result in fines, including a $300 fine for tenants for a first offense. Repeat offenses would result in increased fines and could include a $500 fine for landlords of non-compliant residences. Additionally, individuals attending a party found in violation of the ordinance could be subject to a $100 fine after being told to exit.
As proposed, the “unlawful noise” ordinance states that “it shall be unlawful for any person or persons to create, assist in creating, continue or allow to continue any excessive, unnecessary, or unusually loud noise which either annoys, disturbs, injures, or endangers the reasonable quiet, comfort, repose, or the health or safety of others within the City of Lewiston. The following acts (see p. 88-89) are declared to be loud, disturbing, injurious, unnecessary, and unlawful noises in violation of this section, but this enumeration shall not be exclusive.” If passed, the council would adopt a policy outlining the escalating scale of fines for first and repeat violations to the ordinance.
We appreciate the collaborative approach students are taking regarding this important community issue. We look forward to continuing the conversation and partnering with you to address the concerns of some of our neighbors while also strengthening social life on-campus.
Please contact either of us with any questions or concerns.